Tour de Yorkshire: Gaby Shaw targets top-15 finish on home roads

British Cycling has a lot for which to thank Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley.

Gaby Shaw.

A decade and a half ago talent spotters from the national governing body went into the school to try to unearth some hidden talent. What they discovered was Lizzie Deignan, nee Armitstead, who would go on to win a world road race title, the Tour de Yorkshire, and an Olympic silver medal.

Four years later those same scouts discovered Gaby Shaw, for whom the path was a similar one – join the British academy and progress to a career on the road.

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“I remember watching Lizzie progress through the ranks at school. She was in the same year as my sister,” said Shaw.

“It’s a shame they don’t do that type of talent spotting any more because with Lizzie and a few others it’s identified a lot of riders.”

Shaw may not have enjoyed the heights Deignan has reached, but as a part-time rider she has delivered some strong results, most notably in her home race, where she has twice finished 17th.

“I’m actually very proud of those finishes to say the field has traditionally been very strong,” said Shaw, who will ride through her home village of Bramhope on Friday’s opening stage.

“Riding the Tour de Yorkshire is getting tougher each year due to the strength of the field, so for someone who has a part-time job as well it’s one of the highlights of my career, and hopefully I can crack 17th and get a top-15.

“I like the short punchy climbs, so the Tour suits me. If I can get over the climbs I would then back myself to challenge in the sprint.”